September 2, 2009

Swedish man attempts to make breast milk

A Swedish man says he is stimulating his breasts with a pump in an attempt to produce milk from his own body.

Ragnar Bengtsson, 26, of Stockholm, said he began his experiment, which is being documented by Swedish TV8, Tuesday and plans to pump his breasts at three-hour intervals every day until the start of December in a bid to create milk, The Local reported Wednesday.

Anything that doesn't do any harm is worth trying out. And if it works it could prove very important for men's ability to get much closer to their children at an early stage, Bengtsson said.

Bengtsson said he does not want to use any chemicals, such as hormone treatments known to cause male lactation.

If it works and the milk turns out to have a high nutritional value, it could be a real breakthrough, he said.

Sigbritt Werner, professor of endocrinology at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, said Bengtsson's quest could produce a drop or two of milk after three or four months of pumping.

Women breastfeed after they've been bathing in estrogen during a nine-month pregnancy, so obviously it takes some time. But if he works on it regularly, he'll likely notice a layer of tissue forming beneath the areola and it should be possible to produce enough of the hormone prolactin to cause lactation, she said.